Tech News Today for November 28, 2016

Tech News for Monday November 28, 2016

A heck of a lot of people bought stuff last Friday, a day known by many as "Black Friday." Adobe has been tracking e-commerce transactions for the holiday season and says sales were notable for a few reasons. First, the day set a sales record at around $3.34 billion spent, 21.6 percent more than last year. Second, mobile sales were enormous, at $1.2 billion dollars, a 33 percent increase from last year. Mobile also accounted for 40 percent of sales, around $680 million in online sales. Read more at

If you were in San Francisco on Saturday, you might have gotten a free ride on the public transportation system known as MUNI. Great news, except that the free rides were a result of a crypto-ransomware attack. A MUNI spokesperson told CBS news that hackers did not unlock the gates -- they were kept open as a precaution after MUNI station computer screens offered a message that anyone familiar with ransomware would recognize. It said: "You Hacked. All data encrypted." Since this is an ongoing investigation, and many SF authorities are not talking, but since rides are no longer free it appears that they isolated the infected machines to bring the system back online. Read more at

AT&T released the detail hounds for its upcoming DirecTV Now streaming TV service. The service will start at $35 per month which includes 60+ channels, all the way up to $70 per month with more than 120 channels. Subscribers can stream two channels simultaneously, but will not launch with cloud DVR. That is expected in 2017. Almost all major networks are part of the over the top deal, except for CBS and Showtime. DirecTV Now will launch wednesday, November 30th. Read more at

Silicon Valley has long embraced the "Move Fast and Break Things" ethos, but imagine if what Silicon Valley is building is an 18 wheeler capable of barrelling down a freeway with nobody at the wheel. Today Backchannel explains how back in May of this year, autonomous trucking start up Otto managed to violate Nevada's autonomous vehicle regulations which resulted in their purchase by Uber for $680 milllion dollars. The piece is a great read and really makes autonomous vehicle regulation approval sound like the plot to Chinatown. Engineer Anthony Levandowski, whose company was bought by Google and other Google lobbyists helped develop the autonomous vehicle rules. Read more at

Dish’s Sling TV is getting a major improvement that will see it best AT&T’s DirecTV Now service, and better compete with Playstation Vue. Sling TV is launching cloud DVR functionality, first into a free, limited Beta this December and only for those using Roku devices. Sling pointed out that its cloud DVR is not limited to 28 days of retention like Playstation Vue. Beta users will get 100 hours of cloud DVR “at no charge” which seems to hint at the possibility that cloud storage will carry some sort of fee once it officially launches. Read more at

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Sarah Scoles to talk about Breakthrough Listen, a research program aimed at finding evidence of civilizations beyond Earth. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at You can subscribe to the show and download it on demand at

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